Arrest

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He's a local person

On the morning of 2 October, a police helicopter spots Mark Bridger walking his dog.The fact that he doesn’t look at up the helicopter above him immediately raises suspicions.He is challenged on the roadside, detained and arrested.His arrest unsettles an already troubled community.
 
“It was quite scary because he’s the sort of person you’d be like, ‘Hey you. Alright?” to when you walked down the street. I didn’t know him well enough but I’d say you know, ‘Hello’ to him and when his picture popped up on TV it was like, ‘I know that guy, seen him around town, he’s a local person”.
Jazmin Jones, April’s Sister
 
At the police station, surprisingly, Mark Bridger calmly admits his involvement in the disappearance of April.
He explains he was driving his Land Rover and had knocked April over as she was riding her bike. He’d placed her in his vehicle and tried to give her CPR. But because he was unable to revive her, he’d panicked and driven off.
As dubious as his account sounds – and police found none of her blood on his car or on the road - Bridger has admitted killing her and so the police feel they have to inform April’s family.
 
“The police did tell us everything, and that’s what we really appreciated. They never kept us in the dark or nothing.”
Coral Jones, April’s Mother
 

Where April is, however, is still unknown. The search for her continues. Leaflets with her image are handed out.
Though a forensic search of Mark Bridger’s cottage suggests hope of finding her alive would be misplaced.
 
“...there was evidence of a clean-up at the property, particularly in the bathroom area...the other key piece of evidence ...was...the remains which were recovered from the hearth of the fire, which was the subject of some very, very detailed examinations forensically and which we believe are those remains of April Jones.”
Andy John, Det. Superintendent, Dwfed-Powys Police
 
Forensic officers find traces of blood throughout the cottage. In particular, there’s evidence of a substantial pooling of her blood near the hearth. It indicates April suffered significant harm there.
 
The family is told of the implications of what this probably means.
 
“...that night I put myself to bed at half past five and cried myself silly until one, two o clock in the morning.  I actually soaked my pillow right through I cried that hard.”
Paul Jones, April’s father
 
And when forensics examine Bridger’s computer, it reveals his obsession with child pornography and child murders.
As Professor Laurence Alison observes, we can be disgusted, but we shouldn’t be surprised.
 
“The reality is there is a significant number of men that are interested in children...The best estimates on prevalence rates around paedophilia in the UK is between 1 and 3 percent or 1 in every 100 men will have a paedophilic interest in children...And there’s a significant number, albeit a small number, of men that would act on that impulse.”
Prof. Laurence Alison, University of Liverpool

“On his computer he had cartoons of a kid being molested by an adult. He had pictures of other children. He had pictures of my...other daughter Jazmin, and April. He tried to say that he didn’t know April but (she was) there, with my other daughter Jazmin”
Coral Jones, April’s mother
 
In fact, Bridger had tried to make friends with Jazmin online saying he was a friend of her father’s. Suspicious of, amongst other things, the age difference, she’d deleted the request.
 
Back at the police station, Mark Bridger is interviewed 13 times for over 18 hours.
He’s confident, calm even - until he’s challenged on the evidence the detectives are finding.
He’s charged with April’s abduction and murder.